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Local Student to Compete in International Math Competition at San Diego Convention Center

A senior from San Diego's Canyon Crest Academy will match mathematical wits with 11 other whiz-kids from around the world at the 9th Annual "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician" competition at the San Diego Convention Center.

Anlin Zhang will represent San Diego as she faces 11 competitors from Canada, the UK and across the United States for a $10,000 grand prize. The contest takes place during "Mathematic-Con," a free and public event on Saturday, January 13 from 9am to 4pm, part of the Joint Mathematics Meeting.

The Joint Math Meetings is the first citywide convention of 2018, bringing over 6,000 professional mathematicians and students together for the largest annual gathering of mathematicians in the world.

Zhang was selected for the championship based on her scores on an online qualifying test with questions on algebra, trigonometry, probability and math history. No matter the outcome, Zhang is already a winner, being one of three high school students from San Diego who received a $25,000 scholarship in the 2017 Seimens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, for applied mathematical models that identify and analyze the movement of dangerous infectious disease.

If you want to see the contest in person, you can do so without a ticket. American Mathematical Society Public Awareness Officer Mike Breen encourages high school math students, teachers and math enthusiasts to attend the 2nd annual "Mathematic-Con," touted as "a day of free, fun, public events."

"The goal is to show guests how much fun math can be," Breen said.

Here are some of the events planned:

  • Mathematical Art Exhibition (Exhibit Hall B1, 9am to Noon)
  • James Tanton, "Mathematics to the Rescue: How to Fold a Tie" (Room 6C, Upper Level, 10am)
  • "Math Wrangle" will pit teams of students against each other, the clock and a slate of great math problems (Room 6D, Upper Level, 11am)
  • Watch an award-winning mathematics and music video that explains mathematical concepts through doodles (Room 6C, Upper Level, 11am)
  • Who Wants to be a Mathematician Contest (Room 6C, Upper Level, 1pm)

If you can't make it, "Who Wants to be a Mathematician" will be webcast live to cheering classmates and math fans everywhere at:

The Joint Mathematics Meetings is hosted by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. The group held its first convention and meeting at the San Diego Convention Center back in 1997. According to the meeting planners, six percent of its attendees are international and 29 percent are students. Among the 3,000 presentations are speakers from San Diego State University, UC San Diego, the University of San Diego and the Scripps Research Institute. Presentations focus on applications that help analyze and solve real-world problems. This is the fifth time that the JMM has been held in San Diego.

"The San Diego Convention Center and the destination as a whole are happy to host the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego," said Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, CFE, President & CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. "A recent study by our partners at the San Diego Economic Development Corporation found that STEM talent is the foundation of our region's thriving innovation economy. In fact, our STEM pool talent is 43 percent more concentrated here in San Diego than the national average. Having an estimated 6,000 attendees in our facility who are key educators and researchers in mathematics, engineering, computer science and statistics is an honor and could end up helping our region in the future in ways we can't even measure today."

Barbara Moreno's picture
Posted by Barbara Moreno, on January 11, 2018
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